Speaker 1: Electric cars are different in a lot of ways, you know that, but they're also different when they crash. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? We've all seen and probably spent way too much time watching those fascinating crash test videos. Typically from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it's how they figure out who [00:00:30] gets a top safety pick. But to test electric cars, they had to make a change. They had to basically test their rig and see if it can lug up to 9,500 pounds of vehicle down the runway into that cement block. This is because electric cars can weigh a ton. You know, a Hummer EV weighs over 9,000 [00:01:00] pounds. They'd never tested anything like that before. Even in Mercedes EQ. S about 6,000 pounds. The new Volvo, uh, ex 90 electric suv, about 6,200, even a Tesla model S merely a sedan, not a utility, clocks in it like 4,800 pounds. All of these are far above the 4,100 pounds or so. That is the average weight of a non-electric car purchased in 2022. And even that 4,100 is being [00:01:30] skewed high by the huge amount of trucks and SUVs We buy take out some of those by going back a few years and I bet it would be under four grand. So EVs weigh a lot.
Speaker 1: That's why they loaded up some old junkers lately with a whole bunch of steel and concrete to get them up to a weight like an EV to make sure that their rig could haul something that heavy down the road at full speed into that cement block [00:02:00] when they get there. It's the same crashes though, frontal collision, various overlap collisions, roof integrity tests, and all of those then evaluated on how well the car's passenger compartment held up protecting you. Oh, by the way, did you know the I I H S only does crash tests up to 40 miles an hour? So that amazing damage you see, that's just up to 40. That should give you a sense of mortality when [00:02:30] you think about what can happen at higher freeway speeds. Let's take it easy out there. It can get ugly. The good news is EVs appear to make a crash scenario safer depending on which side of said scenario you happen to find yourself. If you're in the heavier car, likely the ev, you tend to get tossed around less by the other car, or your EV gets accelerated less by the other lighter car. Either way, your [00:03:00] body receives more muted, bouncing around inside your cabin. Soon though, we're gonna have EVs hitting EVs and it'll be interesting to see how things level out.
Speaker 1: Specifically I I H S says, injury claims from drivers and passengers who have crashes in EVs tend to run 40% below what is seen from the occupants of conventional cars in crashes from 2011 to 2019.
Speaker 1: Now, aside from all the occupant [00:03:30] protection, the crumple zones, who gets bounced where inside the cabin during a crash, what about the battery fire that can occur after said crash? I A H S has told consumer reports they have yet to have a battery fire or a battery thermal runaway event in any of the EVs they have crash tested. That's pretty interesting. Now, they haven't crashed, tested that many electric cars, certainly nowhere near as many as has actually crashed in the real world. And we've all seen the headlines about electric cars catching fire, not [00:04:00] just in crashes sometimes because of bad designs, but as we saw in a recent story I did, it's possibly overblown cars of all kinds catch fire in crashes, whether they're battery or gasoline powered. Specifically, I A H S crunched the numbers on fatal auto crashes that involved fire between combustion cars and electric from 2009 to 2014 and found the rate between the two kinds of cars was about the same. [00:04:30] Oh, by the way, if you wonder what separates a top safety pick from a top safety pick, plus a lot of it comes down the technology top safety pick requires a good or a green rating on all the crash tests, an advanced or superior rating on front crash prevention tech, and an acceptable or good rating for the headlights on the car.
Speaker 1: The I A H S has been very big on demanding better headlight tech lately. Top safety pick plus [00:05:00] requires a good rating on every collision test, no acceptable ratings, a good or acceptable headlight rating on all trim levels, not just when an option is present and an advanced or superior rating in crash prevention, both between vehicles and vehicle to pedestrian.
Speaker 1: So the bottom line is if you're thinking about an electric car and wondering if it's safe, the answer is generally yes unless you're on the receiving end of one hitting you. If you're in the electric car, you've got greater weight [00:05:30] on your side, you've got a lower heavy center of gravity that's probably gonna resist rollover. That's on your benefit as well. You're also looking at a car that's probably one of the automaker's latest models and very likely has more or better crash prevention technology built in. And we're finding that the rate of fires certainly, at least involved in fatal accidents, is about the same between an electric car and one that runs on gas or diesel.